Chevy Edges the Competition in the New Silverado 1500
Keeping ahead of the curve is easy in the new 2016 Chevy Silverado 1500. Or, at least Chevy makes it look easy. With the pickup truck segment increasingly competitive, Chevy has answered the challenge posed by industry rivals and released some serious upgrades on this year's Silverado. Pickup truck lovers already know the capability inherent in Chevy's entries, and are increasingly appreciating the enhanced luxury and comfort the pickup truck battle has inspired. Now, buying a pickup truck isn't about choosing convenience. With the 2016 Silverado, you can have both - in spades.
Across the Silverado Universe - Choices Abound
Considering how you intend to use your pickup truck will help you isolate the right body style and trim - all of which can be further enhanced by a host of optional equipment. Starting with the basics: the Silverado is a full-size pickup truck offered in three cab styles. Those styles are further distinguished by trim levels, and the spec breakdown looks a little something like this:
Regular cab: two doors; maximum three passengers; truck bed size: 6-foot, 6-inch standard or 8-foot available; trims: Work Truck (WT), LS, LT; 2WD/4WD
Extended/Double cab: four-doors; maximum six passengers; truck bed size: 6-foot, 6-inch exclusive; trims: WT, LT, LS, LTZ; 2WD/4WD
Crew cab: four-doors; maximum six passengers; truck bed size: 6-foot, 6-inch or 5-foot, 8-inch; trims: WT, LT, LS, LTZ, and Silverado Custom
Picking Up Power...
Along with the significant options, regarding styles and trims, the Silverado also poses some power options.
With the exception of the LTZ and top-line High Country trim levels, standard operation on the 2016 Silverado 1500 comes from a 4.3-liter V6 engine, rated at 285 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque, paired to a six-speed automatic transmission, in rear or four-wheel drive. If you choose this setup, expect fuel economy ratings around 18 city, 24 highway, 20 mpg combined when configured with the two-wheel drive, and 17 city, 22 highway, 19 mpg combined from the four-wheel configuration. According to performance testing done by Edmunds, the two-wheel drive regular cab option made the zero to sixty mph dash in 7.7 seconds.
Want a little extra pep to your step? Check out the next engine option - the 5.3-liter V8, standard fare on the LTZ and High Country and available as an option for the rest of the trim level lineup. So equipped, expect the Silverado to return 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. If you prefer the WT, LS, or LT, your V8 will come matched with a six-speed automatic transmission; however, you can drive the eight-speed automatic transmission by choosing the LTZ or High Country instead. The V8 with rear-wheel drive yields EPA-estimates of 16 city, 23 highway, and 19 mpg combined, while the four-wheel drive matches the city, drops one highway mpg, ultimately offering 18 mpg combined. With respect to the available eight-speed transmission, fuel ratings come in at 16 city, 22 highway, and 18 mpg combined from the two-wheel drive, and 15 city, 21 highway, 17 mpg combined when paired with four-wheel drive. Edmunds tested the V78, specifically in the Silverado LT crew cab, boosted by the Z71 off-road package, and found that the truck sprinted from zero to sixty mph in 6.8 seconds, significantly faster than the V6's capabilities.
Still not satisfied with the speed? Want the best full-size power Chevy can provide? The 6.2-liter V8, exclusive to the LTZ and High Country, comes with the eight-speed automatic transmission and produces a muscle-bound 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. Granted, fuel economy suffers a bit, regardless of whether you opt for two-wheel or four-wheel drive. From both setups, the EPA estimated fuel efficiency at 15 city, 21 highway, and 17 mpg combined. When the Edmunds team tested the speed this herd of horses, (4WD LTZ Z71 crew cab), they were met with a team of 5.9 seconds.
...But Staying True to Safety
The 2016 Chevy Silverado 1500 is tops when it comes to safety, at least according to federal crash tests, which resulted in five-star ratings for overall safety, as well as five stars for frontal-impact and side-impact security. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety evidenced similar findings, awarding the Silverado its highest accolade of "Good" from the moderate-overlap frontal offset crash test. Both marks are due, no doubt, to the abundance of safety features in the Silverado, including: front and rear seat side airbags, side curtain airbags, antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, all further supported (excludes WT) by OnStar emergency services, featuring roadside and stolen vehicle assistance, automatic crash notification to 911 dispatch, and remote door access (locking and unlocking).
Additional safety is offered in the forms of technology like rear and front parking sensors, rearview camera, and Chevy's own Enhanced Driver Alert package, complete with forward collision warning, lane departure alert and assistance, and Safety Alert, which warns the driver of dangerous conditions by buzzing the driver's seat.
Sitting Behind the Wheel...
The new Silverado is celebrated for its comfortable ride, dependable capability, and smooth handling. Leading the pickup truck pack when it comes to the competitive edge, Chevy has successfully blended its bow-tied reputation for reliability with a new focus on inner beauty. By that we mean that the power of the ride is now matched by its interior amenities. Each and every 2016 Silverado, no matter how equipped, feature cutting-edge quality materials and conveniences. Storage is a cinch, considering that the cabin comes rife with cubbies and cupholders. Connectivity is assured, thanks to USB ports and touchscreen displays (standard 7-inch or available 8-inch), which support entertainment via Apple Car Play and Android Auto.
An emphasis on comfort is apparent, given the increased padding on seats, which are trim level-dependent as either bench-style or bucket seats. The Silverado also features lots of room, particularly from its crew cab body style, appreciated for its significant head, leg, and shoulder room, whether passengers are seated in the front or back. Increased insulation supports a hushed ride, with the new Silverado now comparatively quieter than its predecessors, even at highway speeds - a fact not lost on Edmunds' reviewers, who gave this truck its highest marks because of its quiet ride and reduced noise from the wind and road.
If you're considering a pickup truck, you already know how versatile these vehicles are, whether for heavy-duty work, corporate commutes, or family fan. Although its a competitive segment, the new Silverado should be the first you test drive. With a starting MSRP of $27,095, you'll be hard-pressed to track down a more affordable option that is so impressively equipped.